Trademarks and Brands

In-N-Out Burger v. Down N' Out Burger

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 17 April, 2018

Have you ever had an In-N-Out burger outside of the United States? Most likely not, since the California-based burger chain doesn't operate any restaurants beyond five Western US states.

But, if you've been around Sydney, Australia lately, you may have noticed a burger restaurant called "Down N’ Out" that In-N-Out Burgers claims is infringing on its trademark and misleading customers into believing it has given the chain its "endorsement, approval, license, authority or sponsorship," because of similarities in its name and logo, Fox News reports. The Down N' Out website features the phrase "American style burgers, done right."

Although In-N-Out claims it enjoys “substantial reputation and goodwill” in Australia, Hashtag argues that since In-N-Out doesn't operate in Australia it "therefore has no goodwill" in the country. Hashtag also points out that its own menu offers a wider variety of items, like chicken burgers and jalapeño poppers.

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Topics: trademark infringement

Scottish Bank Successful in Cybersquatting Case

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 13 April, 2018

Glasgow-based Clydesdale Bank won a legal fight against a Chinese cybersquatter who attempted to extort nearly £100,000 from it by purchasing a domain name the bank wanted.

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Topics: cybersquatters

Trademark Suit Over Rights to Desilu Name

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 12 April, 2018

You might remember the name "Desilu" — the name given to the television production company founded by the then-married couple of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, stars of the iconic television series, 'I Love Lucy.' The company is credited with developing the linked multifilm camera setup that became the standard for filming television sitcoms. It produced classic TV sitcoms like That Girl, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Family Affair, and Hogan's Heroes.

After being sold in 1967 to Gulf & Western Industries, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, the company known as "Desilu" was dissolved and operated as Paramount Television. The complete Desilu library is now owned by CBS.

In a legal filing this week, Desilu Studios, Inc., operated by Charles Hensley, claims that Paramount filed trademark applications for 16 Desilu trademarks between 1997 and 2001 on an “intent-to-use basis” that were then "abandoned before being used in interstate commerce." Hensley had plans to relaunch Desilu Studios when, according to TMZ, he filed a trademark application in October 2016 for the name, which was approved by the USPTO in January 2018.

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Topics: trademark infringement

GDPR and WHOIS: What Will Happen to Key Information as of May 25—Likely Blackout Period and Corsearch Solutions

by Diane Plaut and Brian Conchuratt on Tuesday, 10 April, 2018

The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and its potential impact on right holders’ access to full WHOIS data has been a very topical issue for our clients. We have been carefully monitoring the discussion and proposals surrounding this issue, from a company perspective and as part of ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency, the IAPP recent Global Privacy Summit, INTA, and from listening, as always, to our clients. The requirements and interpretation of the GDPR and the ability to continue to access full, publicly available information through the WHOIS system is under review by ICANN. At the recent ICANN 61 meeting in San Juan, it became clear that a resolution to this issue will not be imminent.

The need and right to access and use this information for legitimate interests by intellectual property and trademark owners in enforcing rights against third-party alleged infringers of trademarks and content or in relation to bad faith domain registration, is the essential issue to us. ICANN published an Interim Compliance Model and a “Cookbook” to arrive at possible solutions to the WHOIS access issues. Nonetheless, there is substantial conflict amongst interest groups and gaps in the ICANN Interim Model regarding key elements including, layered/tiered access and the establishment of an accreditation program (with a lack of agreement on the enforcement body and process for the proposed, author-supported, accreditation program). Due to this present conflict in resolution drivers, there will likely be a blackout period, which is due to subsist for six months or more, with the possibility that the accreditation program will not be in place until Q1 2019.

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Topics: domain management

Alibaba Files Trademark Suit Against AlibabaCoin Cryptocurrency

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 5 April, 2018

This week, Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, sued a company called Alibabacoin for “prominent, repeated, and intentionally misleading” use of its trademarks in its effort to raise more than $3 million in cryptocurrency called "AlibabaCoins."

Alibaba accuses Alibabacoin, which is also known as ABBC Foundation, of operating an “unlawful scheme to misappropriate”Alibaba’s brand name. CoinDesk reports the complaint reads:

"Rather than build independent value in their brand and the products and services they offer, Defendants have engaged in a willful and concerted campaign to cause the public to believe falsely that Alibaba is the source of the Defendants' products and services, or that such products and services are endorsed or sponsored by, or otherwise associated or affiliated with, Alibaba." 

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Topics: trademark infringement

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